ON LEGITIMACY

While I agree with Tom Friedman’s assertion that international cooperation would be valuable, I just don’t think it’s possible. See Krauthammer’s piece. Friedman has an interesting suggestion:

So, Mr. President, before you shake the dice on a legitimate but audacious war, please, shake the dice just once on some courageous diplomacy. Pick up where Woodrow Wilson left off: fly to Paris, bring the leaders of France, Russia, China and Britain together, along with the chairman of the Arab League summit, and offer them any reasonable amount of time for more inspections — if they will agree on specific disarmament benchmarks Saddam has to meet and support an automatic U.N. authorization of force if he doesn’t. If France still snubs you, the world will see that you are the one trying to preserve collective security, while France only wants to make mischief. That will be very important to the legitimacy of any war.

Sounds great. But the anti-war sentiment won’t be shaken by such a gesture if it hasn’t been shaken by twelve years of Saddam’s defiance. Only a liberated Iraq with people dancing in the streets will do that.

The image of Friedman singing “The Grapes of Wrath” along with with the Mormon Tabernacle Choice amuses me greatly, by the way.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.